Are you interested in losing weight? Are you tired of diets that advocate low or no fats and crave your high fat meats? You may well be considering going on the keto diet, the new kid on the block. Endorsed by many celebrities including Halle Berry, LeBron James and Kim Kardashian among others, the keto diet has been the subject of much debate among dietitians and doctors. Do you wonder if the keto diet is safe and right for you?
What is the ketogenic diet anyway?
You must be aware that the body uses sugar in the form of glycogen to function. The keto diet that is extremely restricted in sugar forces your body to use fat as fuel instead of sugar, since it does not get enough sugar. When the body does not get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to turn the available fat into ketones that are used by the body as fuel - hence the term ketogenic.
This diet is a high fat diet with moderate amounts of protein. Depending on your carb intake the body reaches a state of ketosis in less than a week and stays there. As fat is used instead of sugar for fuel in the body, the weight loss is dramatic without any supposed restriction of calories.
The keto diet is such that it you should aim to get 60-75% of your daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. This usually means that you can eat only 20-50 grams of carbs in a day.
What can you eat on this diet?
The diet is a high fat diet that is somewhat similar to Atkins. However, there is greater emphasis on fats, usually 'good' fats. On the keto diet you can have:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Nut oils
- Grass fed beef
- Other meats
- Full fat cheese
- Leafy greens
- Non-starchy vegetables
You can also get a whole range of snacks that are meant for keto followers. As you can see from this list, fruits are restricted. You can have low sugar fruits in a limited quantity (mostly berries), but will have to forego your favorite fruits as these are all sweet and/or starchy.
This diet includes no grains of any kind, starchy vegetables like potatoes (and all tubers), no sugar or sweets, no breads and cakes, no beans and lentils, no pasta, no pizza and burgers and very little alcohol. This also means no coffee with milk or tea with milk - in fact, no milk and ice-creams and milk based desserts.